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SCRIPTURE - Psa 51:11-12 JULY, 2009
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
SUBJECT - THE IMPORTANCE OF THE HOLY
When I left off last month, I was beginning to describe the job of the Holy Spirit, as it pertains to our personal lives.
I mentioned that the first job He has, is to start cleaning up our lives, by making us aware of the fact, that just because we got saved, does not mean we are without sin, or perfect. The reason for saying that is because, while we are spiritually clean, we still have to deal with our flesh and its nature, which seeks only to please itself, through all of the things we used to do, before we got saved.
The Holy Spirit, is, for this particular job, a house cleaner, that is invited in, to clean out all the junk that, for all intents and purposes, is holding us down, and keeping us from achieving what God wants for all of us to achieve.
As with any house cleaner, you have to invite Him in, and give Him permission to look for things that are the problem, and to help you get rid of them. When He sees something, He will make you aware of it. Then, you can either give Him permission to throw it out, or not. Much the same way you would do in the natural world, when it comes to cleaning the junk out of your house, or garage
Many times, we want to clean out our houses, but, as we begin to do so, we find things that we want to hold on to, for sentimental reasons. The problem is, by the time we finish cleaning, we find the house still is not in the shape we want it, because we have too many sentimental things, still cluttering it up.
If you hire a house cleaner, and then don't let them do their job, and throw things out that they feel you don't really need, then chances are they will leave you without doing anything. They can't make you take their advice, so why waste their time?
Well, the same holds true, when, despite His [the Holy Spirit] showing you what you need to get rid of, you want to hold on to it, for, sentimental reasons.
All this is, is the flesh, resisting the direction of the Holy Spirit, for no other purpose, than to keep itself happy and content.
These things that it wants to hold on to, encompass a wide range of possibilities from old lovers, drugs, gambling, religion, smoking, alcohol, lying, sex, on down to resentment, envy, pride, stubbornness, and even nit picking. If you will look at this passage of scripture, you will see these things identified.
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
SSol 2:15 Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.
A lot of the time, we are fully aware of the big things like adultery, murder, and hatred, as well as the others that we need to get rid of, and actively pursue a course to do just that. But, in many instances, the problem is not these big things, but, the insignificant things, the little foxes, that tend to do many of us in.
If you will notice, I underlined part of the scripture passage above. I did that to clarify something, that the Holy Spirit revealed to me, years ago.
If you will notice, the term [kingdom of God]. Many Christians relate that to Heaven. But that is not what it means.
There is a difference between, [kingdom of God] and [the kingdom of Heaven]. The kingdom of God, is the entire spiritual realm. God rules over everything in this realm. All things are subject to His Word.
The kingdom of Heaven, is the capital, if you will, the seat of power, of the kingdom of God. It is a specific place, in the kingdom of God, where God rules from. It is just like Washington DC, being the seat of power for the entire nation of the United States. In both cases, what is decreed from the capital, is carried out, throughout the entire realm of its authority.
Now, let me go a little further. Earth, though a physical entity, is
part of the kingdom of God, because it came from the spiritual realm. Hell, is also part of the kingdom of God, for the same reason. All the things we see, are part of the kingdom of God, and therefore, subject to God's rule.
When the scripture says, ‘that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God’, what we are being told is, we will not be in control of it.
That's right. What we are being told is, when we do the things mentioned in the above scripture passages, we no longer will be able to control what happens in it, as it pertains to our individual lives.
When you inherit something, that means, someone died, and left it to you. Well, since Jesus, God in the flesh, died for us, He left us with everything we need to control things in the kingdom of God. We inherited all His power, for our own use, so to speak, as long as it is bringing glory to God. That is key. Our right to access and utilize the power of God, to control what happens in our lives, rests solely on whether what we are seeking, will glorify God, or not. And that determination is made by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit, wants to lead us to the full potential that God has made available to us. But, in order to do that, we have to be in the correct spiritual condition. If we are half stepping, so to speak, we will not be able to achieve the full potential that we have, because He won't allow it.
Therefore, when the Holy Spirit comes in, to clean house, He wants to get us to that position. So, when He starts pointing out things that we need to get rid of, and we ignore it, we are just diminishing our own power.
Part of that power, is the ability to see things the way God sees them.
Do you know where the ability to see things the way God sees them, comes from? Try this passage of scripture. John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
First, you have to be saved, to see the kingdom of God, or, see things the way God sees them. Then you have to have the Holy Spirit guiding you, to help you see them. And therefore, if you ignore Him, you are asking for trouble.
Now, in the physical realm, if I am standing in the street, and I see a truck barreling down on me, I'm going to move out of the way, as quickly as I can. Contrast that with, my walking in to an area, contaminated by carbon monoxide, something I can't see, that is harmful to me. I'm liable to stay in that area an extended period of time, thus putting my life at risk. What I need in that situation is something that will warn me of the danger, so I can get out
Well, the same thing holds true for the spiritual realm. Some things we can see, and avoid them. Others, however, aren't as easy to see. In fact, you may see them, but not realize the danger they present. You need someone, to help you see these things, so you can take the necessary steps to avoid, or, get rid of it. That is the job of the Holy Spirit.
The problem is, many Christians [yes, they are saved] tend to, after they get saved, hold on to ‘things’ that they have no idea, what danger they can cause to their spiritual growth. That is why we have the Holy Spirit. He sees the danger, and warns us, to steer clear. But, our flesh, comes in, and says, ‘Hey, you don't want to be a fanatic, do you?? You don't need to go that far.’
I remember those cartoons which depicted a person faced with making a decision, with an angel on one shoulder, and the devil on the other, each trying to influence the person. Eventually, one would win, while the other disappeared. Most of the time, it was the devil. Well, substitute your flesh, for the devil. Until you die, your flesh isn't going anywhere. You are stuck with it, and you are going to either control it, or it will control you. And in too many instances, these Christians are surrendering to the dictates of the flesh, and ignoring the direction of the Holy Spirit.
When we allow the Spirit to do His job, He will begin to influence us to seek the Word of God, the bible, so that we can learn just what we are supposed to be striving for, and what we are supposed to be turning our backs on.
Most of what you begin to learn, you may not have much of a problem with. If what you were involved in, was making you miserable, and you had already wanted to get away from it, but couldn't, now that you have the Holy Spirit helping you, you find it easier to resist any temptation to turn back to it. However, if it was something that brought you pleasure, then, you may find yourself in a battle with your flesh, that may go on for a few days, to weeks, months, or even years. But, once again, the Holy Spirit will be there to encourage, and strengthen you, so that you can resist the temptation to go back.
But, what happens, if you get weak, and surrender to the temptation?? The Holy Spirit, will then do a few things.
First, He will make you feel uncomfortable, where you won't get the pleasure out of it, that you did, before you got saved. He then, will convict you of doing something that displeased God. This will lead you to repentance. These are things that are done, to help you grow in Christ, so that it will be easier for you to resist the same thing, the next time the flesh rises up. Repentance is done, to show God, that we are sorry for what we have done.
These things are the centerpiece of our growth in Christ.
How we respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, to repent for our sinning against God, will determine if He will continue to warn us, against that particular sin, and lead us to repentance.
If we refuse to listen to Him, He will allow us to continue in it, to our own demise.
Some people have the idea that if God doesn't want them to do something, He will stop them. WRONG!! If that was the case, then there would be very few people left on the earth. Because the only way for God, to stop someone from committing sin, quite frankly, is to kill them. Thank God for His Grace.
More on this subject next month.